Veronica is originally from Ecuador, a country known as the Land of Chocolate because of the rich history of fine cacao and the quality of cacao produced there.
Veronica's story with chocolate started before she was born. Her dad used to be a cacao farmer in the coast of Ecuador and shared his passion for cacao farming and the tradition of having a cup of hot aromatic cacao in the mornings. This cacao beverage differs from the traditional hot chocolate because it is pure cacao, so you genuinely taste the cacao's flavor. In Ecuador, people often drink hot cacao as an energy drink in the mornings instead of coffee.
In 2010, after finishing her Masters in Socio-ecological studies, Veronica joined a project to restore the heirloom Arriba Nacional cacao and the cultural heritage associated with cacao. During this project, Veronica lived in the rainforest of Ecuador, where she learned how to grow cacao and make artisanal chocolate from Indigenous women and farmers. In 2015, Veronica moved to Canada to go back to school again to take a doctoral degree in Environmental and Sustainability. Her doctoral research explores the connections between tourism, cacao farming, and food sovereignty in the Amazon region of Ecuador. Due to the lack of funding to pay for her studies and research in Ecuador, Veronica decided to start a business in Canada which sells textiles and metal-free jewelry made by women farmers and small artisans that belong to the communities where Veronica is carrying out her research. She also offers travel consulting services for people aiming to visit Ecuador.
Veronica's entrepreneurial journey in Canada has had the company and support of her husband, Kelly. This Saskatchewan boy met Veronica and fell in love with her incredible stories of hunting for ancient cacao in the Amazon rainforest. We have recently purchased land in Ecuador. There we hope to grow our own cacao and truly make it from bean to bar.
Kelly and Veronica source the heirloom cacao beans, Arriba Nacional, from Ecuador and make small batches of chocolate. What started as a hobby, later turned into friends and family requesting more of our handmade chocolate.
— Kelly and Veronica